Study Finds Cell Phones Impact Male Fertility

Although many studies about the health effects of <"">cell phone radiation have been inconclusive, most experts agree there is an urgent need for more research. Some current research has raised red flags and a recent study suggests that cell phones may be linked to lowered sperm quality and decreased male fertility, writes The Vancouver Sun.

The study, led by a Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario researcher looked at the electromagnetic waves released by cell phones. “Our study is an eye-opener that electromagnetic waves may have an effect on fertility,” said Dr. Rany Shamloul, study lead and a researcher in sexual medicine. “It’s not a done deal, but it’s a red flag that more research needs to be done,” quoted the Vancouver Sun.

The team revealed that cell phone use decreased the luteinizing hormone, a significant reproductive hormone secreted in the male brain, said The Vancouver Sun. “This may potentially have an effect on your ability to produce babies in the long term,” said Dr. Shamloul, quoted The Vancouver Sun. The study appears in the online version of the journal Andrologia.

The researchers looked at 2,110 men who attended an infertility clinic in Austria between 1993 and 2007 and discovered what they described as a “significant difference” between the sperm counts of men who used the devices during the course of the study time frame, versus men who did not use cell phones during that same time, wrote The Vancouver Sun. “The initial sperm count decreased. Even the ability of the sperm to move decreased over time,” Dr. Shamloul said, reported The Vancouver Sun.

Dr. Shamloul explained that electromagnetic waves potentially affect cells throughout the body, especially reproductive cells, which are particularly sensitive to radiation; however, the point at which radiation because destructive has yet to be determined, wrote WebMD. Other studies in Europe are looking at frequency, phone type, usage amount, and body location where devices are kept, said Dr. Shamloul, according to WebMD.

Dr. Shamloul urges caution when using the devices. “The evidence that cell phone radiation can damage sperm and DNA is growing,” says Devra Davis, a researcher in environmental health hazards and founder of the organization Environmental Health Trust in the United States, quoted WebMD. Davis notes that today’s safety standards are insufficient, pointing out that radiation tests do not consider true usage habits.

“Phones are never tested in the pocket of the shirt or pants, which is where most people keep them…. If they were tested there, the phones on the market today would not meet the requirements for radiation limits,” said Davis, quoted WebMD. Davis also pointed out that most people talk on the devices for at least six minutes per call, which is much longer than the amount of time used in testing.

Recently, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Interphone Study, for example, found that the heaviest cell phone users–those using the devices at least 30 minutes daily—and who reported using their phones on the same side of their heads, experienced a 40 percent higher risk for gliomas, the most common type of brain tumor. The Interphone Study involved nearly 13,000 people in numerous countries.

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